Today, my mum would have turned 60.
Today, is also two months since my son was born.
It’s been a bittersweet two months… moments of pure joy tinged with moments of pure heartache.
While I clearly remember the 24 hours before my son arrived, I don’t remember much about the hours after the birth.
Mostly, I remember holding my dad’s hand as I lay in bed, a bit spaced out from the drugs and hormones.
But I also remember looking around and noticing that while my baby boy was surrounded by aunts, uncles and grandparents, there was a very special person missing. And she should have been holding my other hand at that moment.
These past two months have been filled with first smiles and first chats.
First sleepless nights.
First coughs and first hospital stays.
The moment I was told that while it wasn’t an emergency, we had to head to the hospital to get our baby looked at, it took all of my willpower not to pick up the phone and call her. We sprung into parent mode, packing bottles and formula, without actually knowing how long we would be there for. Packing clothes for the baby. I guess it’s the life of a parent when you pack everything for your child and completely forget to pack anything for yourself.
Just before midnight, I found myself heading home to get what I would need for the next 24 hours. And I couldn’t help but think how my mum felt when I was admitted to hospital for weeks when I was just a few months old, quarantined with a gastro-bug.
As I lay in the hospital bed (if you could even call it that) while my son was hooked up to monitoring machines, coughing and spluttering, and listening to the other children around us, my heart broke time and time again.
All my baby wanted was his mummy, and all I wanted was mine.
I know there will be lots of firsts ahead – first solids, first steps, first words.
And while I know each will be marked with pride and smiles, I also know each will be marked with longing. Longing that mum could experience my baby’s firsts too.
A little while ago, I wrote about grief and mourning and whether you ever stop grieving. I really don’t think you do. And having my son has confirmed this. Because I will forever be grieving about the memories my mum won’t be able to share with her grandchildren.
Today, we’ll have lunch with her friends. We’ll have dinner as a family. We’ll try to enjoy our day as best we can.
In a perfect world, there would be a big party planned for this weekend, because my mum never did anything by halves. And there was no way she would ever give up the opportunity to throw a party.
But the world is far from perfect. Our world is far from perfect.
We just have to learn to make do in our imperfect world – without mum.
I know there will be lots more fumbling through the darkness as I figure out how to be a mother to my little boy. I know that I will forever be asking what my mum would do in every situation.
But I also know that as long as I raise him the way my mum and dad raised my sister and I, Rafi and I will be ok.
We’ll just fumble together and find a way through it all.